Last summer I was in a jewelry store waiting to get my ears pierced. I started browsing the various jewelry cases, and came across a small collection of handmade silver jewelry. I zoomed in on a pair of delicate, silver, crescent moon earrings, elegant in their simplicity.
Although solo jewelry designers tend to charge more for their items, and their collections are smaller in general, I didn’t mind shelling out more money for these earrings. They were one of a kind.
- Handcrafted — Any item that uses hand labor during the production process. If you string together beads on a necklace, you’ve handcrafted a piece of jewelry.
- Handmade — This is the construction of an item, by hand, using raw materials. In this example you would make the beads yourself, and then string them together to make a necklace.
A stunning example of handmade luxury items are the haute couture gowns by Chanel. Gowns are beaded, feathered and stitched by hand.
Etsy is a good example of a site featuring handmade jewelry and garments from independent designers.
Handmade items are more expensive, but because of the personal attention to detail, they are made with better quality and last longer. Also, you know exactly who is making your clothes and jewelry.
Whether it’s handcrafted or handmade, supporting vendors that use sustainable methods and ethical labor practices is another way we can be conscious consumers.